This month I want tell you another story featured in From Crew to Captain about someone I have worked with, and who has become not just a business associate but a good friend.
Her name is Christine and if you need motivation or inspiration, her story is a great example; particularly if the thing that is worrying you is “Can I do it?”
In 2008 I met Christine Stedmann at Fairplace. Christine had worked for one of the major UK banks. Her parting from the bank had not been a particularly pleasant experience, so when I met her she was still recovering from the whole redundancy process, and her morale and self-esteem were pretty low. I describe her natural style as a bit like “Tigger on caffeine” – she is bright and bubbly, so this was not the real Christine I have come to know.
However, she had a vision; she wanted to set up a business. She had a vision of what she wanted her business to look like; she called it Zentime.
I worked with her over the summer, helping her to write her business plan, and she launched in September 2008. She had as much drive and determination as anyone I have ever met. Where she was struggling was the third component; where she needed rock-solid belief. She had self-doubt and thought to herself; “can I actually do this”?
She launched on the 1st September and the first month was a disaster. She had no hits on her website. No calls; nothing happened. In October 2008 it all changed and there was one development that tripped the whole process. She was featured in The Guardian as someone going through the “reinvention” process.
The article told her story, and how she got through the difficult period. From thereon she has not looked back, and is well and truly back to being “Tigger on caffeine”. She now has the belief, the vision and the determination she already had, but the belief was the missing thing. It took the article to help her get the belief back, it was there but somewhat buried.
She has now gone from strength to strength, and is a living example of why these three leadership attributes are so important. That is not to say that you need coverage in a national newspaper to give yourself that vital belief. Whether it is positive feedback, support from friends, or some other input; external sources of encouragement from trusted parties should help you to believe that you really can do this.